Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 2
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Němeček, Jan Pokorný, Petr Lhotský, Ondřej Knytl, Vladislav Najmanová, Petra Steinová, Jana Černík, Miroslav Filipová, Alena Filip, Jan and Cajthaml, Tomáš 2016. Combined nano-biotechnology for in-situ remediation of mixed contamination of groundwater by hexavalent chromium and chlorinated solvents. Science of The Total Environment, Vol. 563-564, p. 822.

    Itrich, Nina R. McDonough, Kathleen M. van Ginkel, Cornelis G. Bisinger, Ed C. LePage, Jim N. Schaefer, Edward C. Menzies, Jennifer Z. Casteel, Kenneth D. and Federle, Thomas W. 2015. Widespread Microbial Adaptation tol-Glutamate-N,N-diacetate (L-GLDA) Following Its Market Introduction in a Consumer Cleaning Product. Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 49, Issue. 22, p. 13314.


Adaptation of microbial communities in soil contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls, leading to the transformation of more highly chlorinated congeners in biofilm communities

  • A. J. Macedo (a1), T. R. Neu (a2), U. Kuhlicke (a2) and W.-R. Abraham (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 January 2006

A site polluted for many years with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) was used to elucidate the metabolic adaptation of microbial communities to these xenobiotics. Soil samples taken along a gradient of PCB-pollution at this site were used to grow biofilm communities on PCB oil. The biofilm communities originating from the non-polluted soil formed rather uniform and thin bacterial layers on PCB oil, while the biofilms originating from contaminated soil samples formed agglomerated structures on the PCB droplets. Biofilm communities were very diverse but those from highly polluted soil were dominated by Burkholderia species, a genus known for degrading several PCBs. All biofilm communities could transform low to medium chlorinated PCB congeners but a strong increase in the rate and degree of PCB transformation in communities from heavily polluted soil was observed. Notably, pentachlorinated congeners were transformed only by biofilms derived from the highly polluted soil but at the same time the content of trichlorinated congeners did not decrease. It is assumed that biofilms from the highly contaminated soil reductively dechlorinated PCB, converting pentachlorinated congeners to trichlorinated congeners in the spherical biofilm aggregates by diffusing to the surface of the aggregates, where aerobic transformation took place.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Dr W.-R. Abraham Helmholtz Center for Infection Research Chemical Microbiology Inhoffenstrasse 7 38124 Braunschweig GermanyT 49 531 6181 4300, F 49 531 6181 4699,
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

W.-R. Abraham , B. Nogales , P. N. Golyshin , D. H. Pieper & K. N. Timmis (2002) Polychlorinated biphenyl-degrading microbial communities in soils and sediments. Current Opinion in Microbiology 5, 246253

S. Ayris & S. Harrad (1999) The fate and persistence of polychlorinated biphenyls in soil. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 1, 395401

K. Ballschmiter & M. Zell (1980) Baseline studies of the global pollution. I. Occurrence of organohalogens in pristine European and Antarctic aquatic environments. International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry 8, 1535

B. J. Bassam , G. Caetano-Anolles & P. M. Gresshoff (1991) Fast and sensitive silver staining of DNA in polyacrylamide gels. Analytical Biochemistry 196, 8083

G. Borriello , E. Werner , F. Roe , A. M. Kim , G. D. Ehrlich & P. S. Stewart (2004) Oxygen limitation contributes to antibiotic tolerance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in biofilms. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 48, 26592664

A. Buthe & E. Denker (1995) Qualitative and quantitative determination of PCB congeners by using a HT-5 GC column and an efficient quadropole MS. Chemosphere 30, 753771

I. Dahllof , S. Agrenius , H. Blanck , P. Hall , K. Magnusson & S. Molander (2001) The effect of TBT on the structure of a marine sediment community – a boxcosm study. Marine Pollution Bulletin 42, 689695

J. C. Duinker , D. E. Schulz & G. Petrick (1988) Selection of chlorinated biphenyl congeners for analysis in environmental samples. Marine Pollution Bulletin 19, 1925

S. El Fantroussi , H. Naveau & S. N. Agathos (1998) Anaerobic dechlorinating bacteria. Biotechnology Progress 14, 167188

L. Hall-Stoodley , J. W. Costerton & P. Stoodley (2004) Bacterial biofilms: from the natural environment to infectious diseases. Nature Reviews Microbiology 2, 95108

M. R. Harkness , J. B. McDermott , D. A. Abramowicz , J. J. Salvo , W. P. Flanagan , M. L. Stephens , (1993) In situ stimulation of aerobic PCB biodegradation in Hudson River sediments. Science 259, 503507

C. Holliger , G. Wohlfarth & G. Diekert (1999) Reductive dechlorination in the energy metabolism of anaerobic bacteria. FEMS Microbiology Reviews 22, 383398

V. Ivanov & E. Sandell (1992) Characterization of polychlorinated biphenyl isomers in Sovol and trichlorobiphenyl formulations by high-resolution gas chromatography with electron capture detection and high-resolution gas chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques. Environmental Science & Technology 26, 20122017

S. Jensen , A. G. Johnels , M. Olsson & G. Otterlind (1969) DDT and PCB in marine animals from Swedish waters. Nature 224, 247250.

H. Lünsdorf , R.W. Erb , W.-R. Abraham & K. N. Timmis (2000) “Clay hutches”: a novel interaction between bacteria and clay minerals. Environmental Microbiology 2, 161168

A. J. Macedo , U. Kuhlicke , T. R. Neu , K. N. Timmis & W.-R. Abraham (2005) Three stages of a biofilm community developing at the liquid–liquid interface between polychlorinated biphenyls and water. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 71, 73017309

B. Nogales , E. R. B. Moore , W.-R. Abraham & K. N. Timmis (1999) Identification of the metabolically active members of a bacterial community in a polychlorinated biphenyl polluted moorland soil. Environmental Microbiology 1, 199212

B. Nogales , E. R. B. Moore , E. Llobet-Brossa , R. Rossello-Mora , R. Amann & K. N. Timmis (2001) Combined use of 16S ribosomal DNA and 16S rRNA to study the bacterial community of polychlorinated biphenyl-polluted soil. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 67, 18741884

H. Nollet , I. Van de Putte , L. Raskin & W. Verstraete (2005) Carbon/electron source dependence of polychlorinated biphenyl dechlorination pathways for anaerobic granules. Chemosphere 58, 299310

G. Perrière & M. Gouy (1996) WWW-Query: an on-line retrieval system for biological sequence banks. Biochimie 78, 364369

G. Ross (2004) The public health implications of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the environment. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 59, 275291

B. Schachter (2003) Slimy business – the biotechnology of biofilms. Nature Biotechnology 21, 361365

J. D. Thompson , T. J. Gibson , F. Plewniak , F. Jeanmougin & D. G. Higgins (1997) The CLUSTAL\X windows interface: flexible strategies for multiple sequence alignment aided by quality analysis tools. Nucleic Acids Research 25, 48764882

S. Tillmann , C. Strömpl , K. N. Timmis & W.-R. Abraham (2005) Stable isotope probing reveals the dominant role of Burkholderia species in aerobic degradation of PCBs. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 52, 207217

E. M. Top , D. Springael & N. Boon (2002) Catabolic mobile genetic elements and their potential use in bioaugmentation of polluted soils and waters. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 42, 199208

J. T. Walker , D. J. Bradshaw , M. R. Fulford & P. D. Marsh (2003) Microbiological evaluation of a range of disinfectant products to control mixed-species biofilm contamination in a laboratory model of a dental unit water system. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 69, 33273332

J. E. Watts , S. K. Fagervold , H. D. May & K. R. Sowers (2005) A PCR-based specific assay reveals a population of bacteria within the Chloroflexi associated with the reductive dehalogenation of polychlorinated biphenyls. Microbiology 151, 20392046

J. Wiegel & Q. Wu (2000) Microbial reductive dehalogenation of polychlorinated biphenyls. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 32, 115

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 1479-0505
  • EISSN: 1479-0513
  • URL: /core/journals/biofilms
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *